MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The All-Star Game came to Minnesota this summer. Now the state is playing host to the World Series.
The World Series of Beep Baseball, that is.
The week-long round robin tournament brings in teams from all over the country.
The Minnesota Millers are competing. All the players are blind or visually impaired. Because there are varying degrees, everyone wears a blindfold to level the playing field.
“We have youngsters on the team and father time, who’s our oldest player, and everybody in between,” said coach Doug Van Duyne.
His son, Evan, is a stellar outfielder.
“[My dad is] the biggest motivator for me to do well,” Evan Van Duyne said.
In the world of beep, a sighted catcher and pitcher are on the batter’s team. The goal is for the pitcher to send the ball into the batter’s sweet spot.
The players run to either first or third base, determined by which base buzzes.
“It’s like a tackling dummy,” Doug Van Duyne said.
The ball beeps so the outfielders know where to find the ball.
“There are a lot of things to mentally juggle while you’re frantically scrambling for that ball,” Evan Van Duyne said.
The idea is to get to the base before the other team gets to the ball. That’s how you score.
“I never knew how good it feels to run as fast as I can without feeling like I’m in some kind of danger,” teammate Chris Peterson said.
And here, the cheering begins after the play ends so the team can hear the beep or the buzz.
“You do it once and you’ll find out they’ll all, shhhh,” Doug Van Duyne said.
Each player has drive, determination and a desire to be competitive and part of the team.
“I think my favorite part is the comradery,” Peterson said.
Unlike baseball, here there are four strikes, one ball, and the game goes six innings.
Each year the World Series of Beep is played in a different state. The championship game will be held in Rochester on Saturday.